Hakeem Nicks saw a couple replays of his Hail Mary reception at the end of the first half, and even he was impressed with the end result.
“I actually didn’t realize the ball was on my helmet,” said Nicks, whose 37-yard touchdown reception gave the Giants a 20-10 halftime lead and gave the Giants a huge dose of momentum. “It was a pretty good catch.”
Nicks also had a 66-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter and finished with a team-high seven catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns. Nicks also paced the Giants’ receivers in a 24-2 win over the Falcons with six catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns. His 13 catches for 280 yards and four TDs are tops for all receivers from the four remaining teams in the playoffs.
“I’m pretty confident,” Nicks said of his Hail Mary reception. “I feel like I can come down with it as long as I can compete and go up and get it and look it all the way in. Eli threw the perfect pass, too."
But Nicks said there's more where that came from.
"I don't think you ain't seen nothing yet," he said. "I think I'm just now peaking. I feel like I know what I'm capable of doing in big games."
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, a former receivers coach, couldn’t say enough nice things about Nicks in his press briefing today.
“I can give you a bunch of guys I’ve personally had an opportunity to coach who are great players,” Coughlin said. “But when [Nicks] gets his mitts on the ball … When I saw those red gloves go up [on the Hail Mary], I knew he had a good chance to catch that.”
Coughlin said Nicks is “a lot faster than people give him credit for, especially when he’s being chased.”
Coughlin cited Nicks’ 66-yard TD against the Packers, when he was hit near midfield by defensive back Charlie Peprah but bounced off him and raced in for the score.
“He got tagged pretty good by Peprah, who knocked him all around,” Coughlin said. “[Nicks] remembered which way was north, and away he went.”